Take Better Videos With These Top Tips From The Pros

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Vonda Klimaszewski of Vonda K Portraits

I’m betting you hate how you look on video. It’s not surprising. We’ve all been thrown into the deep end of the at-home video pool, and boy, are we treading water. So why not get a few tips from the experts?

We talked about basic technology last month. Its evident people are overwhelmingly using both FaceTime and Zoom. But why do we all look so darned bad?

It’s just a lack of knowledge. So, we’re going to help you fix that.


I called Vonda Klimaszewski of Vonda K Portraits. I’ve known her for years and when I saw her excellent YouTube series, I was hooked.

Vonda has tons of experience and knows how to make everyone look good in a still or video environment. As friends got online, Vonda was surprised to see there were having challenges. She knew she could help them feel more comfortable and look better. So, she decided to do a series with simple tips and tricks. They are going to change your life — and your videos for the better.

Simple Changes Make a Big Difference

“There are so many simple little changes you can make with things that are readily available around your home,” Vonda said.

For instance, where should you put your desk lamp? How can you bounce light, so you don’t have shadows under your eyes? How do you deal with light when filming outdoors?

Vonda’s done four videos so far, each with two quick tips. I highly recommend subscribing to her YouTube channel because they are super easy to follow and you will be stunned how your child’s’ science poster can make you look better. And yes she does private consultations!

For Video And Stills, Branding is Critical

Lance Selgo of Unique Exposure Photography

Lance Selgo is a seasoned real estate photographer and videographer, and he has some excellent tips.

“Have your image and contact information at the beginning and end of every video you post for your business,” Lance said. “If someone reposts it without your knowledge, it’s still out there working for you. It’s passive advertising.”

But what about those walk-through’s that seem to go on forever? Is that a good thing?

“In today’s environment, you can offer a longer video for buyers, because that’s what they are relying on,” Lance said. “You’re marketing to someone interested in buying, not creating a viral cat video! Remember you can always take highlights of that video and do another one for a different platform like Instagram. Whatever our new normal will look like, learning how to do this now will put you way ahead of the game and all of this can be done with your smartphone. Everyone is in learning mode now. The most important thing to do is to get content out there. You have a captive audience staying at home.”

Clean Your Lens And Use a Tripod

Stephen Karlisch of Stephen Karlisch Photography

Stephen Karlisch knows a thing or two about making people and homes look fantastic. His work has been published in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and House Beautiful, to name only a few. He’s a consummate professional and an incredibly nice guy.

I had one of those proverbial hand slap to forehead moments when Stephen told me a great tip.

“Use a tripod for your iPhone.” It seems obvious, but, hey, as I said, we are in the deep end, treading water.

Lighting makes the difference! Stephen Karlisch Photography for Studio Steidley

“Whether it’s a video or still photography, get an inexpensive tripod and a holder for your phone and mount it,” Stephen said. “When the phone is out of your hands, you can not only get it level, you can compose and style the shot or video. You can shoot at a higher angle that you will look better from, and you can also use a timer for self-portraits. Putting yourself in front of the camera is more important than ever now. People want to see you.”

Karlish recommends a simple, non-distracting background and cautions to clean your phone camera lens, which few of us think about.

Consider using those built-in editing tools.

“An iPhone has excellent editing features,” Stephen said. “You can trim a video clip, change the speed, make it slow motion, change the colors, the saturation, and the contrast. You can even make your video look edgy. Figure out your style, stick to it, and people will remember you.”

Most importantly don’t be afraid of technology. We have the gift of time right now to learn, to improve, to meet expectations, and to create content, with intent.


Karen Eubank

Karen is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for over 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying for his masters at The New England Conservatory of Music. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap.

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